Posts Tagged ‘sapsucker


Photography: Low Light Glow

Setting Sun SBThe low light glow from the setting sun looks soothing on this backyard tree. Perhaps you recall this was the poor tree being drilled by the Sapsucker this past Winter

Sapsucker Drilling SBThe bark of the entire tree exhibits hundred upon hundreds of holes from that determined sapsucker….here a few dozen holes are attempting to mend.


Photography: SwittersB vs. the Sapsucker

I just wrote about this pesky bird, the red headed (breasted/bellied…I don’t know) sapsucker, that has been annoying/damaging my Sea Berry (Botanica) tree in the back yard.

Yet again, this morning, I looked out to see the Sapsucker/Hummingbird combo working over my tree! Ok, enough is enough. Out I went armed with…well hell I couldn’t find anything to arm myself with. I grabbed a Tiki light stuck in the ground near the tree. I waved it, I poked toward the bird and the rascal looked at me and moved a few feet higher, out of range, while continuing pecking away at the bark. I could see the damage that had already been done. Hmm?

I didn’t want to hurt the bird, but I mean come on. The folks, where I bought the tree, said the tree was impervious to pests (“Pests & Diseases: Sea Berry is bothered by no significant pests or diseases in North America.”) But, they may have not considered the Sapsucker. This Sea Berry tree has fed countless birds through the Winter with its bright orange berries. The Sapsucker apparently goes for blood or sap. I will have to admit to securing some sort of projectile and scaring away the bird, but I have no doubts he returned as soon as I closed the back door and headed off to work.

I seriously need to go fishing. I haven’t been out since October and this shows it!





Photography: the sapsucker and the hummingbird

The other day, I glanced out the back windows of my house looking for that Blue Heron I had seen the week before. No heron. Instead, I did see a ‘woodpecker’ banging away on a Russian ornamental tree. How interesting I thought. I will see if I can snap a photo or two of this bird. I grabbed the camera and snuck outside. Creeping along toward the tree I took shots of the bird. What I also saw was a hummingbird flitting about the woodpecker…a red headed woodpecker.

I was shooting into the low, bright light, but I got a few shots. I decided to research the woodpecker…the red headed one and low and behold I discovered the sapsucker. What a pest this bird is apparently. Those neat rings of holes around the tree are a bad thing for the tree, but not for the sapsucker or hummingbird it appears. 

I took 22 shots in all, but not one shows that flittering hummingbird. The sapsucker was unconcerned by my presence unlike the heron the week before. 

RED Head WPkr SB

xRed Head Wpkr 2 SB

“A sapsucker’s tongue is adapted with stiff hairs for collecting the sap. Red-Breasted Sapsuckers visit the same tree multiple times, drilling holes in neat horizontal rows. A bird will leave and come back later, when the sap has started flowing from the holes. Repeated visits over an extended period of time can actually kill the tree. The insects attracted to the sap are also consumed, and not only by sapsuckers. Rufous Hummingbirds, for example, have been observed to follow the movements of sapsuckers and take advantage of this food source.” (X)


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